Music Reviews



Aliftree: Clockwork

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 22 2009
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Artist: Aliftree
Title: Clockwork
Format: CD
Label: Compost records (@)
Rated: *****
Alif Tree is a seasoned and well established French composer, producer, engineer and sound designer. Based in Marseille but constantly traveling around the world he writes for film/TV, produces remixes, writes for classical dance ballets, plays gigs and at the same time magically finds the time to write great music, gets top musicians to record it in Nashville and then packages it into a beautiful and sophisticated melange of ambient, electronica, trip-hop, jazz, pop, blues and more. I don't think I heard his debut "The Observatory" back in 2000, but considering it took him 8 years to create the follow up to that you can imagine that this is indeed a great album, and he makes no qualms about proudly stating that himself. "Clockwork" is delicate and classy like french cusine but at the same time rough and live like some of the most well conceived and put together examples of live-music-based electronica. With male and female singers ranging in style from the Soprano-theme-ish deep blues tone to the chantouse-ish lounge/acid-jazz ethereal, "Clockwork" draws from influences and eras as disparate as every music lover's collection. Borrowing counter clock wise while attempting to look clockwise ahead, "Clockwork" is for the most part the result of live sessions with only minimal (if at all) sampling. Even so it manages to stand the test of time while challenging a unique temporal context. The album sounds fresh but rooted in the past, which is probably the best of both worlds today. Alif Tree draws a picture of depth and complexity that only the most eclectic and open-minded of producers can.

T_ERROR 404: Million Thoughts

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 15 2009
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Artist: T_ERROR 404 (@)
Title: Million Thoughts
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: X-Line (@)
Rated: *****
X-Line can be surely named as being one of the best known net-labels hailing out of Russia. It is the legitimate follow-up label to NBK-Records, but with respect on the current hard times, they release their stuff as digital downloads for free under the Common Creative License. The label X-Line is part of the Alter-X Promotion Project, which at least consists of three different labels. X-Line itself stands for a crossover between EBM/IDM, while Absetzer provide rhythmic Powernoise and the third Space-Time Continuum takes care on various forms of Ambient music. T_ERROR 404 is surely one of these promising and still need-to-discover-them related acts and they stand luckily for a hard Electro/EBM sound, which doesn’t remind on a daily doze of repetitive Hellectro-mutations. "Million Thoughts" presents a wide-ranging style between classic Dark Electro music ("Million Thoughts", "Solaris") to powerful rhythmical Noise-like tune ("One On One", "Sky Surfer"). This musically diversity for sure helps T_ERROR 404 to earn respect for their work, although they not reinvent the wheel. Also good to hear that they still prefer a subtle form of audio compression, instead to a volume make-up for breaking the highest peaks. EBM/Industrial can still be an aesthetic form of experimental-oriented music, and this talented Russian act proves this well. An act to follow without doubts and I hope for a better and international recognition for them. Also good to see and know, that this act has conceptual releases in stock, which seem to fit with the musically outfits of the above mentioned three labels. As I said before, this album is available for free in both formats MP3 and lossless FLAC directly from the X-Line website.

RELEVELER: Incipient

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 13 2009
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Artist: RELEVELER (@)
Title: Incipient
Format: CD
Label: Interdimensional Industries
Rated: *****
Released the last year but arrived to my desk just recently the debut album of Releveler titled INCIPIENT is one of my preferred recent electronic albums. What convinced me since the first listening is the thickness of the ambient sounds, the cinematic sense of the tracks and the melodic taste of the whole. If I have to think of a paragon I'd point Oil 10 with a touch of cEvin Key. Acive since the falling 90's Krhys Wiebe collaborated with different bands, remixing their music and also producing their sound. Four years ago Releveler released a 12" titled "Untouched" (you can find the revised version of the main track on this album) and is already out an E.P. with remixes containing "Your flavor" (five different versions of this track that sees on guitar, backing vocals and production Pete Jones of P.I.L. fame), "Denial" and "Untouched" (plus as bonus there is a Releveler version of Depeche Mode's "To Have And To Hold" and a remix of Phase Theory's "Simple Complications"). If you love electronic music with a bit of ambient industrial sounds, dark atmospheres and rich rhythm textures but you are also willing to find some melody and some vocals in it, INCIPIENT is for sure a CD I'd suggest you and if you're also into late Gary Numan, here you can find a good version where the original spirit of the track is enhanced by the use of many electronic sound layers, nice vocals vocoder filtered and a semi oriental percussive rhythm... Check some tracks on http://www.myspace.com/rlvlr.

Psychotektrauma: Human

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 09 2009
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Artist: Psychotektrauma
Title: Human
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Enough Records (@)
Rated: *****
Yes, that EDEN SYNTHETIC CORPS (ESC) is only sort of the spear top of a new generation of Harsh EBM acts hailing from Portugal. This most western-based European country has more quality Electronica music to offer than most of you would think of. The trio of PSYCHOTEK TRAUMA offers you herewith a free downloadable EP pretty much following that repetitive Hellectro path, which have been walked on by many band of the NoiTekk band roster for instance. PT don’t have to vanish their talent and can rival with some bigger names out of the scene. Best track out the 4 is for sure "Hard Boiled" as being the most straight and up-beating track. PSYCHOTEK TRAUMA surely don’t reinvent the sound and compositional efforts of a more than overfilled genre, but they convince with their sort of work. A special tip to all Hellectro hard-liners to check out a different and new act asides the known acts . Released by the huge Portugal-based net-label Enough Records, which has to offer a huge heap of various music styles provided by new and undiscovered acts worldwide. Regarding PT, lately there has been some inactivity around them, so I hope not to beat a dead horse here....

SHIV-R: Parasite

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 09 2009
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Artist: SHIV-R (@)
Title: Parasite
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This is the debut release of a quite interesting Australian-based newcomer act, but with prominent and experienced Electro/Industrial-musicians hiding behind. SHIV-R is the new playing field of Pete Crane (better known with his Electro-Pop project THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT, signed to the Hungarian Advoxya Records) and Lee Bulig, the brainchild behind the legendary but unfortunately gone Harsh-Electro act STARK. Three original tracks plus two additional remix works by each of the both artists are featured on this first audio sign of life. The title track is of course the main track here, a hard and straight-forward oriented danceable Hellectro tune, which luckily adds niches for a well-done listening procedure too. Pete takes care on the male vocals and he does really well with this, better than expected. Also both additional tracks "Fractured Light" and "Control" aren’t that straight oriented and leave enough room for the listener to consume without to discover another plain Tekkno-oriented bass drum hammering . Oh, and the use of guitar riffs subtle integrated aren’t forbidden for them – a good idea for some variations is always appreciated. A quite promising and well done debut, let’s hope for more of these both talented musicians soon.


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